Good To See Someone Else Agrees With Me On Israel-Iran...
This article got posted on my alternate-history forum today.
Iran Raid Seen as a Huge Task for Israeli Jets
I've said in the past that the Israelis do not have the numbers and the range to successfully cripple Iran's nuclear program. Good to see people in the Pentagon agree with me.
This is not the Osirak raid 20-odd years ago or the recent Israeli attack on that mysterious facility in Syria that might have been nuclear-related. Iran is much farther away from Israel and its air defenses are much more formidable. The reduction of Iraq's air defenses prior to the ground phase of Operation Desert Desert Storm lasted from Jan. 17 to Feb. 23, 1991, and that was with the combined military power of the Western World operating out of Saudi Arabia and several aircraft carriers nearby. The Israelis are much weaker both militarily and economically and would be facing a much smarter opponent than Saddam Hussein.
The only way I can think of that the Israelis could successfully destroy the Iranian nuclear program by themselves is nuclear weapons--use ballistic missiles launched from Israel proper and from submarines against the nuclear sites and Iran's air defenses, then send their air force in to mop up.
Thing is, that would be an extraordinarily radical step to say the least, something that will anger the entire world and risk the ruination of Israel's economy due to economic sanctions and the like. The Israelis would have to be very frightened or desperate to actually do that, and I would imagine the Israeli leadership is aware that the one holding the real power in Iran (the Supreme Leader, not the president) is not the one making nasty comments about Israel, holding Holocaust-denial seminars, etc.
Let's hope nothing comes to pass. An Israeli attack on Iran would provoke a major Middle Eastern war and jack up oil prices, which would throttle the economic recovery and probably cause a worldwide return to recession. And if nuclear weapons are used (and there's retaliation with chemicals or germs by surviving Iranian forces or their allies), the death toll would be huge.